Global Robocop NATO predictably discussed Afghanistan (a war NATO ignominiously lost); Iraq (a war the Pentagon ignominiously lost); Libya (a nation NATO turned into a failed state devastated by militia hell); Syria (a nation NATO, via Turkey, would love to invade, and is already a militia hell).
Afghans must now rest assured that NATO’s Resolute Support mission – plus “financial support for Afghan forces” – will finally assure the success of Operation Enduring Freedom forever.
Libyans must be reassured, in the words of NATO figurehead secretary Jens Stoltenberg, that we “should stand ready to support the new Government of National Accord in Libya.”
And then there’s the icing on the NATO cake, described as “measures against Russia”.
Stoltenberg duly confirmed, “We have already decided to enhance our forward presence in the eastern part of our alliance. Our military planners have put forward proposals of several battalions in different countries in the region. No decision has been taken on the numbers and locations.”
These puny “several battalions” won’t cause any Russian planner to lose sleep. The real “measure” is the deployment of the Aegis Ashore system in Romania last week – plus a further one in Poland in 2018. This has been vehemently opposed by Moscow since the early 2000s. NATO’s argument that the Aegis represents protection against the “threat” of ballistic missiles from Iran does not even qualify as kindergarten play.
Every Russian military planner knows the Aegis is not defensive. This is a serious game-changer – as in de-localizing US nuclear capability to Eastern Europe. No wonder Russian President Vladimir Putin had to make it clear Russia would respond “adequately” to any threat to its security.
Predictably all Cold War 2.0 hell broke loose, all over again.
A former NATO deputy commander went ballistic, while saner heads wondered whether Moscow, sooner rather than later, would have had enough of these shenanigans and prepare for war.
That worthless Patriot
A case can be made that the Beltway – neocons and neoliberalcons alike – do not want a hot war with Russia. What they want, apart from racking in more cash for the Pentagon, is to raise the ante to such a high level that Moscow will back down – based on a rational cost analysis. Yet oil prices will inevitably rise later in 2016 – and under this scenario Washington is a loser. So we may see a raise of interest rates by the Fed (with all the money continuing to go to Wall Street) trying to reverse the scenario.
Comparisons of the current NATO buildup to pre-WWII buildups, or to NATO when opposed to the Warsaw Pact, are amateurish. The THAAD and Patriot missiles are worthless – according to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) themselves; that’s why they tried to improve them with Iron Dome.
Meanwhile, those new NATO army “battalions” are inconsequential. The basic thrust behind the Pentagon’s moves under neocon Ash Carter continues to be to draw Russia ever further into Syria and Ukraine (as if Moscow actually was involved in, or wanted, a Ukrainian quagmire); trap Russia in proxy wars; and economically bleed Russia to death while crippling the bulk of oil and natural gas income to the Russian state.
Russia does not want – and does not need – war. Yet the “Russian aggression” narrative never stops. Thus it’s always enlightening to come back to this
RAND corporation study, which examined what would happen if a war actually took place. RAND reached an “unambiguous” conclusion after a series of war games in 2015-2015; Russia could overrun NATO in a mere 60 hours – if not less – if it ever amounted to a hot war on European soil.
The Rand Corporation is essentially a CIA outpost – thus a propaganda machine. Yet it’s not propaganda to state the Baltic States and Ukraine would completely fall in less than three days before the Russian Army. However, the suggestion that additional NATO air power and heavily armored combat divisions would make a material difference is bogus.
The Aegis changes the game in the sense that it qualifies as a launch area for US missile defense. Think US missiles with minimum flying time – around 30 minutes – from Moscow; that’s a certified threat to the Russian nation. The Russian military has also been “unambiguous”; if it is ascertained that NATO – via the Pentagon – is about to try something funny, there are grounds for a preventive strike by Iskander-M systems out of Transnistria – as in the destruction of the US missiles by conveniently armed precision weapons.
Meanwhile, Moscow has pulled a stunning success – of course, it’s far from over – in Syria. So what’s left for the Pentagon – via NATO – is essentially to play the scare tactics card. They know Russia is prepared for war – certainly much better prepared than NATO. They know neither Putin nor the Russian military will back down because of kindergarten scaremongering. As for a too conciliatory tone by the Kremlin towards Washington, things may be about to change soon.
Say hello to my S-500
The Russian military are about to test the first prototypes of the S-500 Prometey air and missile defense system, also known as 55R6M Triumfator M – capable of destroying ICBMs, hypersonic cruise missiles and planes at over Mach 5 speeds; and capable of detecting and simultaneously attacking up to ten ballistic missile warheads at a range of 1300 km. This means the S-500 can smash ballistic missiles before their warheads re-enter the atmosphere.
So in the case of RAND-style NATO pussyfooting, the S-500 would totally eliminate all NATO air power over the Baltic States – while the advanced Kornet missile would destroy all NATO armored vehicles. And that’s not even considering conventional weapon hell.
If push comes to nuclear shove, the S-400 and especially the S-500 anti-missile missiles would block all incoming US ICBMs, cruise missiles and stealth aircraft. Offensive drones would be blocked by drone defenses. The S-500 practically consigns to the dustbin stealth warplanes such as the F-22, F-35 and the B-2.
The bottom line is that Russia – in terms of hypersonic missile development – is about four generations ahead of the US, if we measure it by the development of the S-300, S-400 and S-500 systems. As a working hypothesis, we could describe the next system – already in the drawing boards – as the S-600. It would take the US military at least ten years to develop and roll out a new weapons system, which in military terms represents a generation. Every Pentagon planner worth his pension plan should know that.
Russian – and Chinese – missiles are already able to knock out the satellite guidance systems for US nuclear tipped ICBMs and cruise missiles. They could also knock out the early alert warnings that the satellite constellations would give. A Russian hypersonic ICBM flight time, launched for instance from a Russian nuclear sub all the way to the US East Coast, counts for less than 20 minutes. So an early warning system is absolutely critical. Don’t count on the worthless THAAD and Patriot to do their job. Once again, Russian hypersonic technology has already rendered the entire missile defense system in both the US and Europe totally obsolete.
So why is Moscow so worried by the Pentagon placing the Aegis system so close to Russia’s borders? A credible answer is that Moscow is always concerned that the US industrial military-complex might develop some really effective anti-missile missiles even though they are now about four generations behind.
At the same time, Pentagon planners have reasons to be very worried by what they know, or hint. At the same time the Russian military – in a very Asian way – never reveal their full hand. The key fact of the matter needs to be stressed over and over again; the S-500 is impenetrable – and allows Russia for the first time in history to launch a first strike nuclear attack, if it ever chooses to do so, and be immune to retaliation.
The rest is idle babbling. Still, expect the official Pentagon/NATO narrative to remain the same. After all, the industrial-military complex is a cash-devouring hydra, and a powerful enemy is a must (the phony Daesh “caliphate” does not count).
The Threat Narrative rules that Russia has to meekly accept being surrounded by NATO. Russia is not allowed any response; in any case, any response will be branded as “Russian aggression”. If Russia defends itself, this will be “exposed” as an unacceptable provocation. And may even furnish the pretext for a pre-emptive attack by NATO against Russia.
Now let those Pentagon/NATO planners duly go back to play in their lavish kindergarten.
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
See also Andrei Akulov’s 15 May 2016 analysis “S-500: Russia’s New Generation Game Changing Weapon”, http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/05/15/s-500-russia-new-generation-game-changing-weapon.html .
Says in part:
… The S-500 [Prometey] is expected to be much more capable than the current S-400 Triumph.
For instance, its response time is only 3-4 seconds (for comparison, the response time of S-400 is nine to ten seconds).
The S-500 is able to detect and simultaneously attack (as well as make speeds of up to 4.3 miles per second) up to ten ballistic missile warheads out at 600 km flying at speeds of twenty-three thousand feet per second.
Prometey can engage targets at altitudes of about 125 miles, including incoming ballistic missiles in space at ranges as great as 400 miles.
Experts believe that the systems capabilities can affect enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles at the end and the middle portion.
Some sources report, that the S-500 system can detect ballistic missile at a range of 2000 km and warheads of ballistic missiles at a range of 1300 km.
It makes the system capable of defeating ballistic missiles before their warheads re-enter atmosphere.
It’s not often that a relatively inexpensive air defense weapon is able to make a trillion dollar fighter program obsolete. That’s exactly what the S-500 missile system will do to US brand new F-35 stealth fighter. …
“The key fact of the matter needs to be stressed over and over again; the S-500 is impenetrable – and allows Russia for the first time in history to launch a first strike nuclear attack, if it ever chooses to do so, and be immune to retaliation.”
Just. Wow. Is this true? If so, American hubris doesn’t make any sense. Anyone who understands about missile defense would care to comment?
I don’t know the answer to your question, not in the least. Nevertheless, it does raise a most interesting point.
If Pepe’s above quoted statement were indeed true (not only partially true), then all Russia would have to do is give an ultimatum with a time deadline to the U.S. (and its satraps), listing a specific long list of demands, then wait – and solve the problem in one of the two possible ways.
Of course, the “pressing the button” solution would “backfire” by messing up the entire Earth’s (including Russian) atmosphere and hence all the plant and animal (human included) life … radiation rendering all the food inedible for eternity … all the oceans becoming a giant radioactive soup … all the progeny of those still surviving born grotesque tentacled green & purple mutants straight from the pages of horror science fiction.
The point is: what is the point? No matter how you look at it, nothing new here. Leapfrogging each other with threats has been with us since the day after Trinity (16 July 1945). And now some S-500 suddenly becoming “a global game changer”? I do not believe it. Do you?
No, it’s not true.
*Nothing is impenetrable. If nothing else, all such systems can be overcome by simple saturation attacks.
*S-500 are still in its design phase, not much is even known about it.
The mk41 launchers that is used in the aegis ashore system can be used for offensive as well as defensive purposes. It can carry tomahawk missiles which can be equipped with nuclear warheads. That’s also a reason Russia doesn’t appreciate the donald cook coming so near its borders. I just wonder if the aegis ashore can be jammed like the aegis system on the d cook was. I think where pepe said convenient precision weapons he may have meant conventional although they are convenient too
I’m not an expert in military equipment, but have a question : what will happen if at the beginning of the hostilities, the entire satellite system will be destroyed ? without such capabilities, everybody will be left “blind” and the war can flow as in ww2 or what ?
I believe many missiles also have inertial guidance systems as well as satellite.
The yanks would be dead in the water. Their CCC systems are too heavily based on satellite communications, and surveillance. Also their almost absolute reliance on computers will be severely impeded by high speed network connectivity loss. “P”GMs will be degraded to inertial navigation, and so on.
Russians are more conservative, their designs tend to be optimized by adopting the simplest, and most reliable solution to a problem, without useless gimmicks, and be able to work in the harshest conditions.
You should never trust the military people, they are always optimistic about their capabilities.
Furthermore wars are never going the expected way. Looking at Syria, Russia has helped stabilized the Syrian situation but war is not over and ISIS and Al-Nusra are not defeated by far. The US has not given up its ambition to get rid of Assad. If the terrorists win the Aleppo’s battle, they may succeed getting rid of Assad. It seems that without an other major help from Russia, Syria is lost. The US wants the terrorists to win for it will give them the motive to start a crusade against the Muslims Iran included to save Israel and to show to the world that Russia is not a big thing.
Russia cannot play that game because this is a game where you are pro or against Israel, this why they are going to loose that game. Thus they have to get prepared for the next round, the war against Russia and China. The world is going the wrong way and Hillary may just drive us to Hell.
I just love the stuff you write, but I do not always take you – or anyone completely seriously..Come on we ain’t going to Nuke Each other are We???
Yes we all know The Americans in Washington are Mad…
O.K. – Maybe you are Right – but I just wrote this on Craig Murray’s website. I disagree with most of his political views – but I think he is a good man…sometimes I know I write things I shouldn’t most of which are incredibly personal and boring – when I am drunk – but everyone knows (well I hope) that I mean no offence (well not much)
Time to move on..to the next Rock Gig
About 15 years ago..my lad and all his school friends were going on a summer school holiday trip to Cairo to see.. The Pyramids etc
There may or may not have been some heavy Terrorist shiit going on then…
But it wasn’t just My Lad’s School
It was Several Normal English Schools – both Boys and Girls
The Egyptian Government – Literally shutdown – all The Traffic – coming into their route
They just shut down all The Traffic in Cairo to let the English Kids Through at High Speed
It was as if The Egyptians were Treating Our English Kids – even Better Than The President Of The USA – and all his Cavalcade…
So we went back again on a diving trip when he was a bit older with his sister and his girlfriend and my wife…
and we were treated equally well…
Do us Old English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Rockers get the same treatment now in France and Spain???
We are all Going Anyway
Loads of us
All Booked and Paid For.
We are Not Americans
We Go Wherever We Want,
We are not Afraid.
We are Nice.
And when we get back to To England we are Touring The UK
@Pepe, I so hope that you are right because I am the madman who dreams of destroying NATO. I read Ischenko recently and think that he gets it. The sole purpose of the anit-missile shield in Romania and Poland is to hit Russian retaliatory ICBMs at heir most vulnerable stage, when they are not yet fully deployed in flight. basically, they are aiming for a first strike and negating Russian retaliation, that is what it is all about . Russia should destroy those facilities immediatly, doesn’t matter what NATO will say, they will spew bullshit to the fan anyway.
” The key fact of the matter needs to be stressed over and over again; the S-500 is impenetrable – and allows Russia for the first time in history to launch a first strike nuclear attack, if it ever chooses to do so, and be immune to retaliation.”
A few points-
A) If that were the case, then surely the paranoid lunatics in the pentagon would have to consider launching a first strike of their own before the Russian system was installed in sufficient numbers. It would be a classic case of projection, if the US had a sure-fire first strike capability, most of the generals would be clamouring for it to be used, if only to make demands with menaces.
B) Fortunately, reality is a little more challenging than the drawing board or the carefully prepared tests. I don’t personally believe in the impenetrable Russian system any more than the US one.
C) If the Russians were really developing such a system they would have the sense to keep it to themselves until it was complete because the Russian military is also composed of individuals who are being paid to be paranoid, and unlike Pepe Escobar they would have thought it through.
The “New Russia” has an unfortunate tendency (in their zeal to prove they aren’t the USSR) to reveal much about their weapons systems that (at least to me) should not be revealed except in a condensed version. I saw a video yesterday a friend told me about. It showed the new YAR missiles. And had the driver of one of them talking about “weight”,how they moved it,”where the controls” were located,etc. He even showed his special drivers licence for driving it. And the reporter was in the headquarters of the institute where it was made. And was shown the “formula” for its construction. Now ,while its true that foreign intelligence services “might” already know all those things and more. Why on earth would we want to “help” them find out those things without even having to work for it.I don’t advocate a total reversion to the old security arrangements. But,in a war situation (Cold as well as Hot) you don’t openly reveal your secrets to your enemy. It is of course possible that is all a bluff. That the things “revealed” are disinformation instead (I certainly hope so). But if not,they need to tighten security a bit.
I agree with everything you said, Bob.
Except: “I don’t advocate a total reversion to the old security arrangements. ”
Why not? The old security measures were quite adequate to say the least – never an overkill.
Not to digress too far (the above referred to armaments), recall also how I. V. Stalin carefully held absolutely secret the existence of his reserve armies (before the Battle of Stalingrad – and on other occasions!!) from his backstabbing WW2 “allies”, and so deservedly reaped the reward of great victories. BTW, when it comes to the capacity to protect the national security, I would never compare Putin to Stalin, never.
Can anyone share thoughts on this? Sounds too sensational in my opinion. I am hoping this is very true though
Terrified US Aircraft Carrier Flees From Russian Subs To UK Safety
By: Sorcha Faal, March 23, 2015
Within hours of the NSF reporting this critical incident, it’s interesting to note, British press sources confirmed that this US Navy behemoth of “100,000 tons of firepower” did indeed dock off Stokes Bay in Gosport stunning the thousands of spectators who jammed roads and lined the banks of the River Solent to see it, but which they, also, described as a port call, though none had been scheduled.The Naval Surface Forces (NSF) of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) are reporting today that three nuclear-powered Akula-class submarines belonging to the 24th Submarine Division of the Northern Fleet (NF) successfully “war-gamed” the American aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt [photo below] causing it to “flee in terror” towards the waters off the Hampshire coast in the United Kingdom.
Although She Was Born in London – both her Mum and Dad and all her Family came from Scotland…
eventually, after being brought up as a Peasant Girl in Northern France immediately after World War 1 -by her Dad and his Mum from the age of 7 or 8 – maybe 10..
Her Dad an Officer and a Gentleman in The British Army…
He served up many British Soldiers To Die in The Somme
and in The Trenches he was sure he was going to die to and he composed a song for my Mum…
and my Niece Played it to her on her 80th birthday…
He died too of appendicitus in France
all my Mum knew what to do was feed the chickens and grow the food…
she was english alone a peasant in france and had no education but almost certainly a french accent
Her Mum had f* off to Africa as a Medical Missionary when she was 2 years old – and she never saw her again..
I do understand why My Grandmother Did That…She was Trying To Keep Her Husband and Kids Alive amidst The Insanity of WW1 in Europe…
I am Off The Africa
Your Kids are Here..
Stop Fighting The Germans and Come Home and Look After Them
Stop This World War
My Grandmother Saved The World…
So my mum was alone a peasant girl in France
everyone else was dead
But she had some rich relations in Scotland…
So they Repatriated Her From France to England…
And They Sent Her To The Very Poshest Girls Boarding Schools in England
My Mum spent her Summer Holidays in Scotland..
She met My Dad in Cornwall in 1939 just before World War II kicked off..
and they obviously thought well lets get married and have kids and did..
Thank God, I have never have had to go through this…
and now if you read The Telegrapgh – it ain’t looking that good
Except I Reckon
The Entire Human Race is Going To Tell All These
How are You Going To Cope With That Tony Blair, David Cameron and The Rest Of You Complete ?
We do not need guns – we are going to crucify you with our words.
A small digression, I apologize. Need urgent answer. Actually, after I read outstanding analytical text (Debunking popular clichés about modern warfare), I have translated it into Serbian, then remembered to ask – whether the required authorization by Saker or a moderator?! Even I have no idea where to publish it, but announced it in a commentary in ’Politika’, already. Now readers owe link. So, Saker (or moderator, or anybody), what to do with it! Help, please.
I have sent this on to a senior moderator and Saker Rado. You should get something back soon. mod on duty.
I like Mr. Escobar, and have enjoyed many of his articles, but this piece is full of a lot of hyperbole and exaggeration.
Any modern combat of missiles versus missile defense is a numbers game. There’s no such thing as an impenetrable defense. The only question is how many incoming missiles does it take to overwhelm the defense? So, even if this system can get a 100% kill rate against 10 ICBM targets, then its bad news for some city somewhere if the enemy can launch 11 missiles. And the bad news for the Star Wars geeks was always that its cheaper to build decoy missiles than it is to build the defenses.
All the same arguments that declared ‘Star Wars’ a boondoggle still apply to a Russian system as well. The laws of physics don’t change based on whether the control buttons are labeled in English or Cyrillic.
Mr. Escobar’s description of this system makes it sound like it must be controlled by a James Bond bad guy. That’s where descriptions like claiming an ability to destroy every armored vehicle in eastern Europe belong. Well, maybe not, as that one would be far-fetched even for a James Bond movie.
I wish Mr. Escobar well, and hopefully he made enough money from this piece to pay the bar-bill for the drinking session that proceeded its authorship.
“The key fact of the matter needs to be stressed over and over again; the S-500 is impenetrable – and allows Russia for the first time in history to launch a first strike nuclear attack, if it ever chooses to do so, and be immune to retaliation.”
That’s all well and good, but there’s always the pesky little problem of High Treason, and High Treason is the inevitable — inadvertently so or not — conclusion of pusillanimity. As Russia’s national cohesion gains strength, it’s imperative that this mood percolates up to the Ministries. The West’s big advantage, apart from its non-stop looting of the planet, has always been its unwavering home front in defense of imperialist gangsterism and ensuing lavish bribery. The Euro-trash won’t object to the utter subjugation and enslavement of Russia. On the contrary, that will — correctly — be perceived as a marvelous portent of unearned wealth, very badly needed by “post-industrial” societies to sustain themselves and their ideological pride.
Russia had better make good use of her missiles. The West understands, indeed respects, no other language.